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5 foreigners arrested over alleged abortion activities

MANILA, Philippines — Five foreign nationals allegedly involved in illegal abortion activities were arrested by law enforcement authorities on Monday, the Bureau of Immigration said. 

In a press release on Wednesday, BI said that it nabbed  the three Vietnamese nationals and two Chinese nationals along Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City.

One of the Vietnamese nationals, according to the BI, introduced himself as a doctor of a wellness center.

He was identified as 29-year-old Trinh Dinh Sang, who was employed at a “wellness clinic” in the area.

According to BI’s intelligence division chief Fortunato Manahan Jr., the authorities posed as clients for cosmetic treatments.

Upon confirmation of the presence of foreign nationals, the arresting officers implemented the apprehension against Sang and his cohorts.

The operations, carried out in collaboration with the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission and the Philippine National Police in Pasay City, were based on information indicating that Sang was involved in illegal activities, including cosmetic enhancements and abortion procedures.

The other individuals apprehended are: Nguyen Duy Quynh, 67; Pham Thi Nhu Hieu, 28; Xie Jun, 36; and Zhai Jian Gang, 43.

Sang and the other foreign nationals are held at the BI’s facility in Bicutan while a pending resolution of deportation against them has been lodged.

Catholic-majority Philippines has the world's most restrictive laws against abortion. The Revise Penal Code of the Philippines Article 256 states that any person who shall intentionally cause an abortion shall suffer the following:

"1. The penalty of reclusion temporal, if he shall use any violence upon the person of the pregnant woman.

2. The penalty of prision mayor if, without using violence, he shall act without the consent of the woman.

3. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if the woman shall have consented."

Article 259, on the other hand, said that abortion practiced by a physician or midwife and dispensing of abortives "shall be imposed in its maximum period, respectively, upon any physician or midwife who, taking advantage of their scientific knowledge or skill, shall